Although the budget system of Colgate University’s Student Government Association appears convoluted to many, the SGA has only two primary sources of income: Student Activities fees, including funds left over from the previous semester and interest garnered from a savings account. While the Student Activities fees make up the greatest portion of SGA’s total budget, the savings account remains a steady source of extra funding each year.
Savings account funds are only accessed during fiscal emergencies encountered by student groups. While serving as a source of financial security for the SGA and student groups, the savings account also garners interest for the SGA’s total budget. This interest is then added into the main budget each semester, along with the Student Activity fees and leftover funds from the previous term. Currently, the SGA account has over $17,000 in it.
According to SGA Treasurer senior Christopher Nickels, most of each semester’s budget goes into funding student-run groups, including media groups such as WRCU, CUTV, and the Maroon-News. Each student group also receives $100 from the SGA in “slush funds” – funds used to sponsor irregular, unplanned events or activities. “Task forces,” or student-committees designed to plan specific events and activities, are allotted funds as needed.
“The BAC already has allocated funds for events throughout the months of March, April, and the remainder of February,” Nickels said. “The amount of money the BAC has left to allocate will change quickly, since the BAC is meeting with several student groups this Sunday and is currently working with several groups to review budget proposals out-of-committee,” he added.
Currently, the Budget Allocations Committee of the SGA has $116,141 left to allocate to student groups’ events for the rest of the semester.
In order to ensure proper budgeting and allocation of funds, each student group is required to report its events and activities to SGA Liaison to Student Groups Paige Carlos.
“After the groups are given the money for the semester, they still have to hand in a fiscal report at the end. We need proof of the money that they spent,” Carlos said. Examples of student-run events include speakers and shows funded by cultural clubs.
“After the groups have put on their events, it’s not over,” she said.
The savings account is viewed as secondary source of income for the SGA. The SGA and Salmagundi are the only student-run bodies on campus that hold savings accounts with the University.
“The money in the savings account generally goes untouched,” Nickels said.
According to Nickels, any money that is withdrawn from the savings account is usually replaced immediately.
“As a source of financial security, its stability is essential,” he said.
Besides the savings account, the SGA also allots a certain portion of its funds to a capital account, which is solely accessed to fund malfunctioning technology for student groups. While this account does not garner any interest, it is crucial to student-run organizations such as CUTV and WRCU. This account currently holds approximately $10,000